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Hey there! I'm Paige, a nationally published photographer, corgi + mashed potato enthusiast with a knack for heartfelt storytelling. Whether you see me behind the camera or on the dance floor with my couples, you are likely to see me having the time of my life. Based in ATX and the Bay Area.

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WEDDING ADVICE

Is a Destination Engagement Session Right for You?

You’re engaged!!! I’m sure wedding plans are swirling around your head now that the time has finally come! I know it’s easy to skip right over planning what I think is one of the most fun occasions during this season: your engagement session. After all,  you’re dreaming up grand plans for your big day, it’s easy for your engagement session location to end up as a bit of an afterthought. I’ve seen even the most adventurous couples end up choosing somewhere nearby for their photos out of pure convenience, but I’m convinced that’s because they think that a destination engagement session seem like an “exclusive privilege”, not just something anyone can do. BUT that’s just not the case!

Now, it’s no secret I LOVE destination engagement sessions – at this point I’ve done them in New Orleans, Washington, D.C.,  San Francisco, Seattle, North Cascades National Park and soon we’ll be adding Denver and Sedona to the list.

Today, I’m so excited to share Q&As from 1) Caroline and Kyle (Seattle and North Cascades National Park) and 2) Holly and AJ (Washington, D.C.) as they answer the question: “Should I do a destination engagement session?”

What gave you the initial idea to do a destination engagement session?

Holly & AJ: AJ and I are both from Austin and we love it so much, so it doesn’t quite make sense that we would do a destination engagement session. But basically, getting married to AJ is a once in a lifetime thing and a dream come true. I think if there’s ever a time to do something out of the ordinary and pull out all the stops, it’s right now. So why not go to someplace brand new and dreamy? Why not have not just a photo shoot, but a whole vacation experience?

Caroline & Kyle: We both love the outdoors and wanted to capture our engagement photos at a national park! What better backdrop than mountains and pine trees! It was also a nice way to get away from the busyness of planning a wedding and focus on us.

What made you want to bring a photographer with you on your trip vs. hiring someone locally?

Holly & AJ: Getting to know your photographer during your engagement session is invaluable! It would be a total waste of money (even if it’s less money!) to hire someone else besides your own wedding photographer – local or not. Plus the whole reason we hired Paige is we trust her implicitly and are head over heels for her work! Why would we want to shoot with anyone else!?

Caroline & Kyle: We both thought it was important to get to know our photographer before our big day and the engagement session is the best opportunity to really understand how to work well together. We both felt like we could really connect with Paige rather than hire someone in Washington who’s work we are not familiar with. It was so so special to have this experience!

What was the best part about your destination engagement experience?

Holly & AJ: This is a hard one because every part of it was amazing ! I think being somewhere new and getting to experience it with AJ and Paige was my favorite part. Letting your photographer go somewhere new they’ve never been before is a challenge, but it’s creatively invigorating and it almost always yields the best results! It was awesome being able to go to so many places in the name of tourism, but at the same time getting a bunch of different photo locations!
Caroline & Kyle: Mainly building such a great relationship with Paige. These photos and then on our wedding day mean so much to us. Having someone you can connect with and really know, makes the experience so much better. On this trip we built a friend in Paige. We know that will translate in the pictures and more fun we’ll have together on our big day. It was all just so surreal to be in the most beautiful place, and have it captured by someone who can really tell the full story! That and  all the laughs we had during the road trip to the North Cascades.

How did you land on your location? If you could have gone anywhere else in the world, what would have been your second choice?

Holly & AJ: Two words: Sparkly marble. Oh and maybe cherry blossoms. You just don’t get that white and bright marble or big beautiful flowers here in Texas! If I could have gone anywhere I would say Greece or Spain, because they’re amazingly beautiful and I hear the wine is good! And I’m always trying to copy/be Julia Engle.
Caroline & Kyle: Paige helped us with this part! She had previously planned a trip to the North Cascades, but her plans ended up falling through. When she showed us Diablo Lake, we were obsessed! It was everything we had in mind, a place that would be cost efficient, had mountains and was somewhat easy to get to! Washington is such a pretty state!

How did you make the whole thing cost-effective and realistic for you?

Holly & AJ: Like any trip, planning ahead and setting a budget is how we made it work! It was a short trip, but we were efficient with our time and made sure to schedule everything out. We stayed at an airbnb, made sure we traveled on cheaper days. It’s so easy nowadays to get cheap flights and be a budget traveler! NO EXCUSES.
Caroline & Kyle: We rented a very affordable Airbnb and tried to keep costs low with food and other travel related expenses. We found a good deal on flights! Outfits wise – we wore a few things we already owned and things we were comfortable in. Paige was also super considerate and found a very reasonably priced Airbnb and we rode to the North Cascades together, so we only had to rent one car!

If you had to do it all over again, would you still do a destination engagement session? 

Holly & AJ: 10000%! I could not be happier with our decision!
Caroline & Kyle: Absolutely yes! (: it was such a special memory for us!

What encouraging words would you share with another couple who can’t decide whether or not to do a destination engagement session?

Caroline & Kyle: The most important words of wisdom are TREAT YO SELF. You literally found the love of your life and you’re getting freakin married and if you want to be extra this is the time to be extra. Also I would say don’t rule it out if you feel like it’s not really your thing. AJ and I really don’t like to travel, we’re total homebodies. But we wanted a special experience we would remember. We knew that a new environment would lead to amazing (like literally brand new, once in a lifetime) photos from Paige. If those two things sound important to you, then go for it !!!

Caroline & Kyle: With cheap flights and Airbnb’s, it’s totally reasonable! We were able to pause wedding planning and really connect with each other in a different city. We both feel so happy that we can know and trust Paige with our wedding and to make us feel totally comfortable in front of the camera. It’s also something that we will have forever to remember this time of being engaged. These pictures are truly treasures that we will cherish for a lifetime!

Still asking yourself the question “should I do a destination engagement session?” Then check out these recent sessions HERE!

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